I moved to Los Angeles in November from Miami and immediately thought, "I really need to make some friends." I spent most of December taking as many Flywheel and Dance classes as possible because I didn't have a job yet, was planning my wedding, and was getting in shape for our extensive Flywheel training in January. I went to Miami to be wed, came back to Los Angeles mid-January and thought "Wow, I really don't have any friends yet." Training came around and I met some of the most amazing people i've met to date, and am happy to say that yes, I now have friends. One of these amazing individuals was Steve Selnick, who wore very bright-colored workout gear, always walked around with a water bottle filled with a thing called Nuun (we will talk about that later), a foam roller, and a smile on his face. We immediately bonded because he liked how many times I said "turnt" and "lit" in my practice rides and because we both liked to run, a lot.
He started talking to me about how he was part of this free fitness group, November Project, that meets at different locations throughout Los Angeles and the rest of the world every Wednesday and Friday morning. How i needed to "just show up" and how much i would love it. I mean, loved the thought of it... until he told me it was at 5:27 and 6:27 AM... It took me a few weeks to finally make it out. Don't get me wrong, I love running and working out - but waking up at 5:45AM to run with a bunch of strangers when I had training the same day just wasn't too appealing for me at the moment. That's because I didn't know.
I showed up, finally. It was at the UCLA stadium. I was (obviously) late, but could find my way because I would spot random, brightly-clothed runners coming from the same direction. I already had a smile on my face. when I got there, I signed a waiver and started running immediately. It's not an exaggeration when I say that they were the most pleasant 35 minutes of straight stairs i have ever ran (and nobody has actually said that.. ever). Every person I ran by gave me a high-five, or positive words of encouragement. I was confused. People were spending their very valuable breath to motivate me, a girl they didn't know to keep going while running 35 minutes of stairs - mind blown. Although i was a bit shy at first, it only took me a few minutes to start extending my own hand first, and saying "Get it!" to every person that came by. After the workout we did what nobody would ever probably label again as "the most fun 7 minutes of straight burpees." When i thought things would not get any more fun, we gathered for a group picture where they told us to "make pretend you just got a puppy for Christmas" to smile, followed by an odd birthday ritual led by the amazing Maggie where we "murder whisper" at the birthday boy/girl, pointing at them with creepy murder faces on. I know.
The first thing I thought when i left was "Damn, that was refreshing." It was refreshing to meet people that are simply there to work out and be happy, to support each other, to make each other's lives a little brighter. To make each other's day a little weirder. It was refreshing to see athletes and beginners motivating each other in the same way, without an ounce of judgement and with an unsurmountable amount of acceptance. It was refreshing to meet people, and talk about my goals and see that they were genuinely interested in helping me get there. Selfless people who want to help, who "just show up." People like Tara, Lujan, Jesse, Aari, Laura, Liana, Steve and Joey who came to my Flywheel class, barely knowing who I was.
The world needs more people like this, and the world needs more November Project. And although I don't show up half as much as I want to, although sometimes I have to teach early in the morning, or life just happens, I know I can just show up when I can, and i'll be received just the same. If you want to find out about a November Project near you, just check out their website (here).
Also, here is an ugly pic mid laugh running up the Culver City stairs (I think thats what they're called). I think it's safe to say my workout gear has gotten much more bright since, i even have a cool NP headband.